Lies, damned lies and statistics


“42.7% of all statistics are made up on the spot” Steven Wright.


Our government’s statistical service works long and hard to provide useful figures that can paint a picture of the state of our economy, our education and our social services. CYSTAT are constantly updating their indices and criteria- so much so that the new financial indices for 2006 will take into account the prices of not only potatoes, but also of really important things like condoms and Viagra.


But I always feel that we’re not getting the full story. What about all the things we really need to know about, like the average length of time spent cueing at a wedding reception (calculated by me at 147 minutes)? This is why I’ve spent days, months, or at least several minutes gathering truly useful statistical information. The figures below are all true, apart from those I made up. To say I made them all up would not be fair. Although it might, perhaps, be true.



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